This clever idea opens up amazing alternative visions for BYOD. An employee device might gain an alternative role and capability when docked at the office, allowing full enterprise integration and data control at the same time as a fully functional and normal device experience. It doesn't have to just be for phones; tablets and laptops could also have this full dual personality. Open source already offers unprecedented flexibility, but the potential to have a single device playing multiple roles adds another dimension.
I don't think any of this would've been possible without open source. You just saw Google's Android operating system and Canonical's Ubuntu operating system hacked to work together and executing the LibreOffice desktop productivity suite. Three completely different software threads were woven together by someone with a great idea, without any need to ask permission in advance from anyone: no licensing agreements, no corporate politics, and no financial commitments beyond the innovation itself.
That would have been impossible with proprietary systems. It was Bill Joy who once pointed out it's impossible to hire all the smart people. Open source allows you to work and innovate with all the smart people. By delivering the freedoms to use, study, modify, and distribute software to anyone for any purpose, open source unlocks innovation. No wonder the 20th century's proprietary dinosaurs are scared of it and want to use patents and API copyrights to kill it!
This article, "Ubuntu and Android: A match made in open source," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of the Open Sources blog and follow the latest developments in open source at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.